Power 5 Collegiate eSports


To understand the strategy and operations of eSports programs in Power 5 colleges.

Early Findings

  • Colleges that currently have eSports programs include Ohio State, University of Utah, Miami University, and University of California Irvine.
  • Due to NCAA regulations that prevent student athletes from receiving any money based off of their athletic abilities, colleges are setting up their eSports programs separate from the school athletic departments.

Ohio State

  • Ohio State appears to be leading the development of eSports within the Power 5 schools. In addition to creating a eSports academic program, Ohio State has built a state-of-the-art eSports arena to house the school's eSports teams and host gaming competitions.
  • The eSports program at OS is managed by the Office of Student Life rather than the school's athletic department.
  • OS is currently in the process of developing teams for Autumn 2019. There will be one college supported team for 4 eSports games: Hearthstone, League of Legends (LoL), Rocket League, and Overwatch.
  • Teams will be selected through open tryouts, followed by interviews and a closed tryout process.
  • The school has partnered with the Electronic Gaming Federation to create a league with other Power 5 colleges. The new league will be commissioned by EGF and Ohio State will help develop the governing body.
  • EGF will work similarly to the NCAA and will use the traditional sports model to create the eSports collegiate guidelines, including gaming seasons and competitive development.

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